Lathyrus latifolius

Photo: Neal Kramer (copyright)

Synonyms: Lathyrus megalanthus, Lathyrus membranaceus

Common names: perennial sweet pea, sweet pea, everlasting pea

Perennial sweet pea (Lathyrus latifolius; Fabaceae) is an herbaceous perennial vine in the pea family that has a long history in horticulture as an ornamental. It has naturalized throughout the United States, in Australia, and beyond its historic native range, across northern Africa and southern Europe. In California, this species can create monocultures in natural areas, though it is primarily associated with ruderal (roadsides and disturbed) sites. Perennial sweet pea reproduces by seed but persists and spreads locally mostly by rhizomes (underground), making it difficult to control once established. Its leaves are alternate and pinnately divided and have winged petioles. Tendrils on leaves are branched and its stems are winged. Individual plants typically grow to 3-6′. Perennial sweet pea is toxic to livestock.

Cal-IPC Rating: Watch

CDFA Rating: None?


Plant Risk Assessment - An evaluation of the potential for a plant to be invasive in California.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Lathyrus latifolius Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • GBIF - Global distribution information.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • The Plant List - Global taxonomic resource and collaborative clearinghouse from Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Missouri Botanic Garden and others.
  • Additional photos

    Lathyrus latifolius_leaves and stem_copyright 2009_NealKramer
    Lathyrus latifolius (perennial sweet pea) leaves and stem. Photo: © 2009 Neal Kramer